Stephen Tropiano ’84, Obscene, Indecent, Immoral, and Offensive: 100+ Years of Censored, Banned, and Controversial Films (Limelight Editions, 2009)
Tropiano begins this examination of popular films that deal with provocative subjects by exploring the history of the battle between filmmakers and the institutions—censorship boards, the Roman Catholic Church, the federal government, and others—that have tried to censor or regulate films’ content.
The author focuses on the six major topics with which censors have taken issue—profanity, violence, sex, nudity, politics, and religion—and offers a take on the films that have been challenged and how those challenges played out behind the scenes and in public. Films profiled include Anatomy of a Murder, The Birth of a Nation, Blackboard Jungle, Bonnie and Clyde, Life of Brian, Natural Born Killers, The Passion of the Christ, Rosemary’s Baby, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Tropiano is founding director of the Ithaca College Los Angeles Program, where he teaches courses on film and television history, theory, and criticism. He and his book were featured at this year’s Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) at IC.